PayPal Offers Unpaid Federal Workers $500 Cash Advances With 0% Interest During Shutdown

January 18, 2019, 9:45 PM UTC

PayPal is trying to ease the financial burden of the government shutdown by providing a total of $25 million interest-free, cash advances to the 800,000 federal workers going without pay.

“Starting immediately, PayPal is offering an interest-free cash advance up to $500, the equivalent of one week’s take home, for any existing or new PayPal Credit customers who are federal employees and are struggling to make ends meet,” PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman wrote in a USA Today op-ed Friday.

In the four weeks since the government shutdown began, furloughed workers are estimated to have gone without $5,000 in wages or more. Furthermore, those deemed “essential employees”, which includes air traffic controllers and FBI agents, have been required to continue working without pay—leaving them without time to take on any extra paid work.

Considering that 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, according to CNBC, a cash advance could go a long way to those who have fallen behind on rent or utilize food banks to help feed their families.

PayPal’s website, which explains how to request assistance and repayment terms, says that those who qualify for the credit should expect to see the money in their accounts in one to three business days.

“There are bills to be paid, groceries and gas to be bought, families to support,” Schulman wrote. “These needs grow more urgent with each passing day.”